So quintessentially English….


I have landed in my next adventure and it is so quintessentially English I keep expecting to bump into Miss Marple at any minute. I am in the depths of the Cotswolds and even I may struggle to find the words to describe how beautiful it is here.

I am staying in a lovely home and caring for Tash and Topper. Tash is a long haired, jet black Alsatian and a gentle, protective boy. Topper is a flash of gold with a definitive hint of Lurcher and when he wags his tail (which is often) his whole body joins in. Their Mum and Dad run B&B from here and the whole home is geared up to cater for your every comfort. I went to sleep last night under the eaves, with sprigs of pink fuschias on the wallpaper and the softest cotton linen nestling around me. I snuggled down and felt like a little girl again. When I awoke this morning I discovered that Tash had kept guard outside my bedroom door during the night.

We went for our first walk this morning, two minutes down the lane and we were pushing the latch gate open and pottering through the churchyard. The Georgian vicarage slumbered on the hillside and I was delighted to discover a babbling brook behind the church, surrounded by woods with abundant bluebells. Don’t you just love this time of year? Tash and Topper’s Dad has loaned me his wellies, which is a good job because it was raining most of the morning. My old wellies gave up the ghost on my last but one assignment.

I tune into the animals I am caring for and the ‘boys’ showed me the way for a lovely walk this morning and there was no chance of us getting lost. ‘Mum’ had left directions, but we managed without them. Topper can get chilly so he had his coat on and he nuzzled his head into my arm when I took it off after our walk. Tash was given a gentle brush afterwards and he licked my hand. Animals know the language of love.

Just to strike a balance between all this loveliness, as the rain dripped from the trees in the wood I lost my footing and went down the bank, backside first and with a thump! The ‘boys’ patiently waited whilst I righted myself and with me covered in mud we continued. I may have lost a fair amount of weight in my almost vertical paddock assignment recently, but I still have padding! Bless this, and the deep bath in my bathroom with an abundant hot water supply upon our return.

This home has floor to ceiling bookcases and chairs tucked into every corner. I have been loaned the use of ‘Mum’s’ study to work from and it is perfect. Think homely antiques, needlework cushions on chairs, paintings of nature adorning the walls, family photographs on windowsills, tapestry rugs on aged wooden floors, happy slumbering dogs in doorways of whichever room I am sat in and tulips, forget-me-nots, bluebells, fruit tree blossom and trees seen through every window. If the forecasted frost happens this weekend, then I will light a log fire.

This is my week for writing……

22 Responses to “So quintessentially English….”

  1. 1 bardessdmdenton May 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    How lovely it all sounds, Jane. “I tune into the animals I am caring for …” And, I know, first hand how comforting and enlightening that can be. So glad you are enjoying your new work. I just love reading you reflections on all that goes on in your life. Blessings. XO ♥


    • 2 Jane Thorne May 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Oh Diane, what a lovely comment and it’s special coming from you. It settles the special moments in my heart when I write them, all these lovely places and special animals. They just accept me and I am so grateful for all the love they flow. Happy days. Much love to you and your Mum. Xxx with hugs.


  2. 3 Marylin Warner May 7, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Jane, I have a fascination for old cemeteries. Not in a morbid way, but a loving, appreciative way, an awareness that wherever and whoever we are, we are here because of those who’ve gone before us. This picture is absolutely beautiful. Thank you!


    • 4 Jane Thorne May 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Oh Marylin, thank you for taking the time to leave your lovely comment. I agree with you. I have always loved pottering in old churchyards, always with gratitude for those that have gone before. There is something so very peaceful about these little country churches, the passage of time has seepe dinto the walls. Xx


  3. 5 ianscyberspace May 2, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Once again you painted an appealing landscape and ideal lifestyle. Thank you!


    • 6 Jane Thorne May 2, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Thank you Ian, I will hold your words as I start to write my book properly today! And not find every excuse not to start it… Have a lovely day.:-)


  4. 7 Eric Alagan May 1, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Hello Jane buddy,

    It sounds like you’re on a small getaway of sorts rather than an ‘assignment’. What a lovely and welcomed change from your previous ‘farm gal’ assignment.

    When you slipped and fell, I can just imagine Tash and Topper going:

    Tash: “Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!”
    Topper: “Yes, old fella, sweet as she is, she is human!”
    Tash: “Just as well, we kept to our four feet.”
    Topper: “Yup! Two legs tall but two legs fall.”
    Tash: “We’d better look after her.”
    Topper: “I’ll take the first watch.”
    Tash: “And I, the second.”


    Luv and hugz,


    • 8 Jane Thorne May 2, 2014 at 7:41 am

      Hello my lovely buddy, thank you so much for taking the time to pen this…I think you are ‘spot on’ as the ‘boys’ facial expressions were priceless! Sticking to the farmers fields at the back for this morning’s excursion. Much love and hugs to you, Xxx


  5. 9 elenacaravela May 1, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Oh my gosh! A little bit of heaven! Just waiting for your visit Jane:)


  6. 11 tornadoday May 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    OMG….Jane……….it sounds like heaven……….. ❤


    • 12 Jane Thorne May 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Hello lovely Bobbie, it is heaven. The ‘boys’ and I have just been for another long walk, exploring the bridleways across the farm at the back of here. You know what? The WiFi signal here is rubbish, so I can’t take any calls from the counselling line. The universe has given me a week off and a perfect place to write. How blessed am I? Love always flowing from me to you. Xxx


  7. 13 Kim Patrick May 1, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh! all sounds wonderful – again! How lovely looking after other people’s animals and I do hear what you say about gifting your time and love, but I definitely think there is a business to be made here Jane – I’m doing the same thing for friends in September (only up the road mind) and whilst I move out of my house to look after two dogs, my parents move into mine to look after Taz – fortunately they have no pets or it could get quite complicated! Enjoy your time with the doggies and the tranquility of your surroundings! xx


    • 14 Jane Thorne May 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      There are many gifts in having our lovely pets cared for in their own homes aren’t there? I am sure your friends up the road are very grateful to you for saying ‘yes’ to them. Your lovely Mum and Dad will get to see you too, bonus! I ‘hear’ you and right now I am just flowing with it all. It is so healing after the last goodness knows how many years and the most recent upset, that I am very grateful for this time. It’s all about the love and the writing…I feel. It’s lovely to hear from you chick. ❤ Xxx


  8. 15 journeyintopoetry May 1, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    This is just wonderful Jane! You have painted a picture that makes me want to drop everything and be there with you. And as always I could have read on and on… Beautiful writing

    Lots of love and a big hug xxx


  9. 19 Al May 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    OK. That’s it. I am officially jealous of your job. Pastoral settings, loving animals, peaceful, quiet, idyllic locations and your bosses are never around? AND you get paid for this? Jane, I believe you have found Nirvana.


    • 20 Jane Thorne May 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      Ah my lovely brother, not quite….I do not charge for being here. I gift my time and love for others’ animals and homes and in turn I am gifted animal love and these lovely places to stay for a while. I also cover my own food and travelling expenses. I earn my pennies working on the telephone counselling service and writing. Still heavenly though…right thing to do for me now. Xx


      • 21 Al May 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        Still jealous.


        • 22 Jane Thorne May 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm

          I know…a good decision to make. I remember I was working on the phone service at Mum and Dad’s and I had finished a call. I sat gathering myself, looking out of the window, and it came to me. With clarity and detail…cast off your bow lines Jane, travel, set yourself up and go and care for other people’s beloved furry friends and homes when they are away. Gift your love and time, write your book, and trust that all will be well. The gifts that are coming forward Al are beyond anything I could have imagined. Xx


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